It’s easy to see why Peterhof Palace, a magnificent complex of palaces and gardens stretching along the St. Petersburg seafront, is called the Russian Versailles. Fronted by the opulent Grand Palace and displaying a rich variety of architectural styles, this UNESCO World Heritage Site—known officially as the Peterhof State Museum-Reserve (Muzeya-Zapovednika Peterhof)—is one of the city’s most visited attractions.
Behold the lavish interiors of the Peterhof Grand Palace on a guided tour; stroll around the Upper Garden and Lower Park; and visit Monplaisir Palace, Marly Palace, the Peterhof Hermitage, and the Cottage Palace of Nicholas I in Alexandria Park. With so much to explore, the most convenient way to visit Peterhof is with a tour guide, and there is a wide selection of small-group and private tours, shore excursions, and combination tickets for the various palaces and museums. Many tours include convenient hotel pickup and drop-off.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Peterhof Palace is a must-see for fans of Russian history, architecture, and all-around opulence.
- Audio guides and AudioPen guides are available in four different languages.
- Most parts of the palaces and gardens are accessible to wheelchair users, and free wheelchair rental is available.
- There is free Wi-Fi in the Upper Garden and Lower Park.
How to Get There
Peterhof is located 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of central St. Petersburg. If you’re not visiting with a tour, hydrofoil ferries run across the Gulf of Finland, setting sail from the jetty just outside the State Hermitage Museum and docking by Peterhof’s Lower Park. Alternatively, trains run from Baltiyskiy Station to Noviy Peterhof, from where it’s a 20-minute walk or 10-minute bus ride to the Upper Garden.
When to Get There
The palace and gardens are open to visitors year-round, although the most popular time to visit is from May to October, when the garden’s famous fountains are in operation. This is also the busiest period and long lines are common, especially in July and August. Opting to visit in winter means far fewer crowds, and the palace is a magical sight when blanketed in snow—but be sure to wrap up warm!
Highlights of Peterhof Palace
Designed by Peter the Great in the 18th century, the Peterhof Grand Palace is truly spectacular. Marvel at the throne room, ballroom, ceremonial staircase, and crown room. Highlights of the formal gardens include the Fountain of Neptune in the Upper Garden, the Marine Canal and Grand Cascade at the entrance to the Grand Palace, the Pyramid Fountain, and the Trick Fountains.